Democratic Socialism and Social Policy
The twentieth century is conventionally seen as a century of social reform. That perception rests on the expansion of state social policy as a result of the early-century reforms initiated by the Liberal administrations and particularly as a consequence of the ‘postwar settlement’ which established a welfare state sustained and succoured in part by the social philosophy of Beveridge and the demand-management economics of Keynes. The purpose of this chapter is to map the development of democratic socialist political ideas in the UK this century and to analyse their development into a justification for welfare statism. This is done by means of a historical narrative which is concerned not only with the growth of democratic socialist or social democratic orthodoxies on social policy in the interwar and postwar years but also with the transformation of, or retreat from, social democratic nostrums in the late twentieth century.
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